Viper Strike Assassin Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

Vvckd

2


Introduction

The Viper Strike Assassin is a Critical-based Dagger build that deals immense of over time damage via stacking long-lasting Poisons. Assassin’s Noxious Strike and Growing Agony Growing Agony allow us to apply Poisons with very long duration. The other ascendancy nodes of the class provide a very efficient way of scaling Critical Strikes, Poison damage, and even bring a lot of reliable Life sustain via Toxic Delivery’s recovery mechanic.

Build Summary

The build can be very budget-friendly and can even be used as a league-starter. We have Bino's Kitchen Knife Bino's Kitchen Knife as a budget weapon that can carry us a very long way, or even be used in all of the endgame encounters; its Poison proliferation works great while clearing and the Dagger has high enough damage to tackle even the hardest of bosses. When it comes to other gear pieces, a Cherrubim's Maleficence Cherrubim's Maleficence and Starkonja's Head Starkonja's Head are great items that can be used early on and then swapped with well rolled rares; overall we will be mainly focusing on getting rare gear with Life, resistances, Critical modifiers and added flat Chaos and Physical damage to Attacks.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Can be played on a budget
+ Melts bosses when properly geared

Cons

- Mediocre clear speed

Playstyle

Offensively, hitting a pack once or twice will be enough to spread enough Poisons to nearby enemies via Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support, Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support, and Bino's Kitchen Knife Bino's Kitchen Knife, which will result in them melting down from the Poison damage over time in the blink of an eye. Blood Rage Blood Rage should be active all the time for the additional Attack Speed and Frenzy charge generation.

Defensively, this is a character that heavily relies on Chance to Evade and Dodge Attacks. The build also reaches a respectable amount of Life sustain via Life leech and Toxic Delivery. Steelskin Steelskin can be used in order to prevent some incoming damage.

For playstyle, applying a few Poison stacks will be enough to clear monster packs; once you’ve moved into battle and done that, you should continue forward via your mobility skills, Whirling Blades Whirling Blades and Dash Dash. Wither Wither Totems will increase enemies’ Chaos damage taken by a great amount; this Totem setup will mainly be necessary against bosses.

Ascendancy, Passive Tree, Bandits and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Shadow – Assassin)

  1. Noxious Strike
  2. Toxic Delivery
  3. Mistwalker
  4. Opportunistic

Noxious Strike provides an immense amount of Poison damage for the build along with a great way to sustain your Life during combat.

Toxic Delivery allows you to scale your Critical Strikes very efficiently, along with providing you additional amount of extra damage.

Mistwalker allows you to make great use of the Elusive buff.

Opportunistic provides a solid amount of offensive power.

Passive tree

This is the endgame passive skill tree for the build. We aim to pick all the strong Dagger and Poison nodes along with decent amount of Life and Acrobatics.

Bandits

For this specific build we should help Alira in Act II. The critical multiplier and 15% all elemental resistances are stronger than the 2 passive skill points.

Pantheons

Major: Soul of Solaris synergizes well with every Acrobatics & Evasion build. Other god powers can be chosen based on personal preference.

Minor: A lot of minor pantheons can be beneficial. Garukhan provides additional Movement Speed if you haven’t been hit recently. Shakari helps dealing with Poison and Chaos damage over time. Ralakesh prevents you from dying to Physical damage over time. Ralakesh will most likely be the more useful one throughout the game.

Pantheon powers can be upgraded by using Divine Vessel in the Map Device while you are activating the particular Map that contains the boss you need. Once you have killed the boss and captured his soul, you need to deliver the vessel to Sin in Oriath.

Gems

The build’s main skill is Viper Strike Viper Strike, which should be used in a 6-Link ideally. For mobility, use Whirling Blades Whirling Blades and Dash Dash. Wither Wither can be cast by a Totem in order to improve damage versus tougher enemies even further. Withering Step Withering Step is a great utility skill that has instant cast and proves to be very useful in most situations. Plague Bearer Plague Bearer allows you to store up Poison damage while attacking in order to then create a Chaos Damage over Time aura around you. War Banner War Banner will improve your overall damage and give you the ability to gain the Adrenaline buff for a short duration.

For all the gem links we provide below, keep in mind that we list the gems in order of priority, meaning that if you lack the required number of sockets to fit all the gems, the first ones to drop are the ones at the bottom. Also note that in-game, as long as the sockets are linked, it makes no difference at all what order the gems are placed in.

Viper Strike (6-Link)

Viper Strike Viper Strike is a melee skill with 60% implicit chance to Poison enemies on hit, the skill is essentially made for a Poison-based character like this one. With patch 3.7, the skill gained an amazing amount of extra damage via the added flat Chaos damage with levels. We recommend two different link for clearing and single target.

While clearing, use the following link

  1. Viper Strike Viper Strike
  2. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support
  3. Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support
  4. Nightblade Support Nightblade Support
  5. Added Chaos Damage Support Added Chaos Damage Support
  6. Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support

For single target, use the following link

  1. Viper Strike Viper Strike
  2. Multistrike Support Multistrike Support
  3. Maim Support Maim Support
  4. Nightblade Support Nightblade Support
  5. Added Chaos Damage Support Added Chaos Damage Support
  6. Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support

Plague Bearer (2-Link)

Plague Bearer Plague Bearer allows you to make use of the very long-lasting Poisons on tough enemies, the skill is useful while clearing too. You are essentially incubating a portion of the Poison damage dealt the the enemy, and then turn it into a degeneration aura around your character. This skill is unnafected by damage increases and multipliers.

  1. Plague Bearer Plague Bearer
  2. Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support

Whirling Blades (4-Link)

Whirling Blades Whirling Blades is your main mobility skill, which will provide the Fortify buff for a short duration after you hit an enemy with the skill itself.

  1. Whirling Blades Whirling Blades
  2. Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support
  3. Fortify Support Fortify Support
  4. Blood Magic Support Blood Magic Support

Wither (4-Link)

Wither Wither can add a huge Chaos damage Multiplier when stacked up to 15 stacks on an enemy.

  1. Spell Totem Support Spell Totem Support
  2. Wither Wither
  3. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
  4. Multiple Totems Support Multiple Totems Support

Other gems

Steelskin Steelskin should be used for the additional damage mitigation. Dash Dash is a very useful mobility skill with low cooldown. War Banner War Banner can be used for the additional damage and Accuracy Rating it provides along with the on-demand damage boost. When it comes to other Mana reservation buffs, you can choose between more damage via Malevolence Malevolence and Precision Precision or better damage mitigation in the form of Grace Grace and Arctic Armour Arctic Armour. Herald of Agony Herald of Agony can also be considered but having the single target damage potential of the build it will most likely be unnecessary.

Gearing

Capping your elemental resistances is essential and it should always be your top priority in any build; it should be the first thing you do when gearing up a character. Obtaining a 6-link, while very powerful and certainly recommended, can potentially be very expensive (requiring an average of 1500 Orbs of Fusing, obviously depending on your luck); as such, this should not really be a goal for you while gearing up, and you should instead settle for a 5-link until you have enough resources.

Helmet

A Rare helmet is the best choice. For labyrinth enchant, look for “30% increased Viper Strike Duration”. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. % Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil)
  4. Nearby Enemies have -#% to Chaos Resistance (Aberrant Fossil Aberrant Fossil)

Body armour

Cherrubim's Maleficence Cherrubim's Maleficence provides a lot of Chaos damage, decent Life and Evasion Rating. Dendrobate Dendrobate can also be considered, although it is hard to cap the required Dexterity / Intelligence and the chest provides no life. A well rolled rare Elder-based Body Armour is the best choice for the build but can be very expensive. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 100)
  3. % Increased Maximum Life (Pristine Fossil Pristine Fossil; Elder Prefix)
  4. Attacks have +#% to Critical Strike Chance (Elder Prefix)
  5. Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Maim (Serrated Fossil Serrated Fossil)

Gloves

Fenumus' Weave Fenumus' Weave is a great choice for the build, although it may be very hard to obtain and expensive. Instead you can just use a rare pair of well rolled Gloves. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 70)
  3. % increased Attack speed
  4. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks

Note: It is recommended to look for corrupted Gloves with Temporal Chains Temporal Chains on hit.

Boots

No particular unique boots are best in slot for the build. Look for a well rolled rare Boots with enchant for additional Attack Speed if you’ve killed recently. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 70)
  3. % increased Movement Speed (at least 25%)

Belt

We need a rare belt, preferably Leather Belt Leather Belt or Stygian Vise Stygian Vise. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 80)
  3. % increased Chaos Damage (Aberrant Fossil Aberrant Fossil)

Amulet

For the Amulet slot we need a decently rolled one on which we can craft additional flat Chaos damage via the master crafting. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 60)
  3. Adds # to # Chaos Damage to your Attacks (crafted via the crafting bench)
  4. % to Global Critical Strike Multiplier
  5. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks

Rings

Well rolled rare Steel Ring Steel Rings are best in slot. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. +#% total Elemental Resistances (until capped)
  2. +# to maximum life (at least 60)
  3. Curse Enemies with Level # Assassin’s Mark on Hit
  4. Adds # to # Chaos Damage to your Attacks (crafted via the crafting bench)
  5. Adds # to # Physical Damage to Attacks
  6. % increased Damage with Ailments (Corroded Fossil Corroded Fossil)

Weapon

Bino's Kitchen Knife Bino's Kitchen Knife is a budget-friendly unique Dagger that has the potential to even act as an endgame weapon. Ideally you would want to craft a rare Daggers with high pDPS and the Delve mode for Chance to deal 100% more damage with Poisons via Corroded Fossil Corroded Fossils. The build dual wields two Daggers. The Rare affix priority is:

  1. % increased Physical Damage
  2. Adds # to # Physical Damage
  3. % chance for Poisons inflicted with this Weapon to deal 100% more Damage (Corroded Fossil Corroded Fossil)
  4. % increased Attack Speed
  5. % increased Critical Strike Chance

Flasks

Silver Flask Silver Flask provides Onslaught which is very handy, but can be dropped if you have an Abyssal Jewel for that purpose. Witchfire Brew Witchfire Brew provides a great amount of damage to the build. Instant or 50% instant Divine Life Flask Divine Life Flask is mandatory for the build, it is recommended to have your Bleed removal on it. Coralito's Signature Coralito's Signature should be used instead of a regular Diamond Flask Diamond Flask. Jade Flask Jade Flask, Stibnite Flask Stibnite Flask, Quartz Flask Quartz Flask and Basalt Flask Basalt Flask are all strong utility flasks that ca be considered. Make sure you have your Curse, Freeze and Bleed immunities rolled on your utility flasks.

Jewels

Growing Agony Growing Agony is Viper Strike Viper Strike‘s threshold Jewel and should be socketed as soon as possible. A Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye with “Damaging Ailments you inflict deal #% faster while affected by Malevolence” can be used but it will probably be expensive.

Regular Jewel Affix Priority

  1. % Increased Maximum life
  2. % increased Physical Damage with One Handed Melee Weapons
  3. % increased Physical Damage with Daggers
  4. % Increased Poison Damage
  5. % Increased Chaos damage
  6. % Increased Attack speed / Attack speed with Daggers

Abyssal Jewel Affix Priority

  1. # to Maximum life (at least 35)
  2. Adds # to # Physical damage to Attacks
  3. Adds # to # Physical damage to Attacks with Daggers
  4. Adds # to # Chaos damage to Attacks
  5. Adds # to # Chaos damage to Attacks with Daggers
  6. % increased Attack speed

Leveling

As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.

You can level the character with its signature skill since level 1.

Leveling Trees

This is what your passive tree should look like around level 65.

Useful Leveling Unique Items

As you begin a new character there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters.

Gem Progression

Using Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa will allow you to have 6-Link gem setups early on, which is why we show such examples below. If you cannot get Tabula Rasa (or another item with a 6-Link), then simply prioritize the first gems in each link provided below.

In order to acquire gems that are not available to your class as a quest reward, simply ask a friend to buy them off vendors for you, or buy them yourself from Sioasa in The Library in Act III Library.

From level 1, you should use the following link.

  1. Viper Strike Viper Strike
  2. Lesser Poison Support Lesser Poison Support

At level 4, you should add Steelskin Steelskin, War Banner War Banner and Dash Dash. At this point your Viper Strike Viper Strike should look like this.

  1. Viper Strike Viper Strike
  2. Lesser Poison Support Lesser Poison Support
  3. Ancestral Call Support Ancestral Call Support
  4. Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support

At level 10, you should add Whirling Blades Whirling Blades, which will help out with mobility.

At level 18, add Herald of Agony Herald of Agony in order to improve single target damage.

  1. Herald of Agony Herald of Agony
  2. Vicious Projectiles Support Vicious Projectiles Support
  3. Damage on Full Life Support Damage on Full Life Support
  4. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support

At level 38, you will be able to swap your single target gem setup with the one for clearing shown in the endgame gem setups (5.1).

FAQ

What map mods should be avoided?

Cannot leech is very annoying and should be avoided; No Regeneration is also very frustrating, beyond that anything else is doable. The mod that allows monsters to have % Chance to Avoid being Poisoned reduces your damage by a big amount but you will still manage to Poison monsters, which will then be inflicted on nearby enemies.

Conclusion

The Viper Strike Assassin is a great boss killer with a respectable clear speed. The character takes his foes down by inflicting powerful Poisons damage over time effects with its Dagger attacks.

Changelog
  •   

    Revisited and updated for Blight 3.8. The build got a great buff via the new passive tree nodes along with the changes to Assassin and Viper Stike (mainly allowing you to dual wield and attack with both weapons at the same time).

  •   

    Build added.

  1. Posts
    1

    Why you don’t take Phase Acrobatic in this build?
    Are you reaching 100% crit chance or it’s okay to be at around 60% crit chance?
    Why Deadly Ailments instead of Unbound Ailments?

    Edited by Mr Oger on September 9th, 2019

  2. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    467

    On 09/09/2019 at 2:07 PM, Mr Oger said

    Why you don’t take Phase Acrobatic in this build?
    Are you reaching 100% crit chance or it’s okay to be at around 60% crit chance?
    Why Deadly Ailments instead of Unbound Ailments?

    Hey,

    picking Phase Acrobatics is a great idea if you have the points to spend.

    60% is definitely enough; keep in mind this high percent is also rolled twice via Diamond Flask Diamond Flask.

    Deadly Ailments Support Deadly Ailments Support simply provides a bigger multiplier and we stack long-lasting Poisons any ways. You can definitely replace it with Unbound Ailments Support Unbound Ailments Support if you like it more.

Please log in to reply.

Close
Close
Close